Fawcett picks up a World Cup silver 

Canada’s Mark Fawcett was actually considering retirement from World Cup snowboard racing when teammate Jasey-Jay Anderson was forced to withdraw from a World Cup parallel giant slalom last weekend with a concussion.

After winning the silver medal at Valle Nevado, Chile on Sunday he was not so sure any more.

"I’m totally shocked with the medal," the 30-year-old veteran from New Brunswick told CBC reporters. "Now I’m really confused about retirement. I guess what helped me today was the fact that this is my favourite stop on the tour, I felt absolutely no pressure and I had some great new equipment that really rocks."

Fawcett was in Chile for a photo shoot, which he timed to coincide with the World Cup so he could watch his friends race. He had no intention of racing in PGS until coaches approached him after Anderson’s injury.

After cruising through the qualifier and the elimination rounds, Fawcett’s competition got steadily harder until he eventually lost the final heat to Lukas Gruener of Austria.

Christopher Klug of the U.S. edged out Daniel Biveson of Sweden to take the small final and bronze medal.

While the Valle Nevado World Cup events are often missing top athletes, the field in the PGS included all of the top ranked World Cup racers, such as Mathieu Bozzetto, Alexander Maier, Guillaume Nantermond, Markus Ebner, and Walter Feichter.

A silver medal by Fawcett shows that the two-time Olympian, who did not even ask for a spot on the national team this season, can still be a force on the World Cup circuit.

In the women’s competition, Nicolien Sauerbreij of The Netherlands edged out Ursula Bruhin of Switzerland in the final. Lisa Kosglow of the U.S. edged out Heidi Krings for the bronze medal in the small final.

For Canada, Aimee Newton was 17 th , Alexa Loo of Whistler 21 st , and Melissa Barclay 22 nd .

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